Terry Adkins, 1953-2014


Terry Adkins passed away February 7 at age 60; the cause was heart failure. An artist and musician, Adkins was also a professor of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania. He had solo museum shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1995), Sculpture Center, New York (1997), the Bronx-River Art Center (2005) and the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, New York (2012). Adkins’s work is also in the public collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Tate Collection, London.

Adkins was known for his assemblage sculptures and instrumental performances with his long-time band, The Lone Wolf Recital Corps. This work often honored historic figures such as Jimi Hendrix, Ralph Ellison, Ludwig van Beethoven and George Washington Carver. Adkins most recent performed Sacred Order of Twilight Brothers, a brass, voice and percussion “recital,” as part of Performa 13 last fall.

Adkins’s work is currently on view in “Radical Presence,” a traveling exhibition of performance art by black artists currently at the Studio Museum [through Mar. 9] and traveling to the Walker Art Center in July. According to a statement from his gallery, Salon 94, Adkins’s latest piece, consisting of a “three-dimensional representations of bird songs made from cymbals and percussion instruments,” will be included in the Whitney Biennial, Mar. 7-May 25.